Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) reacted today to the report by the House Intelligence Committee warning American companies not to do business with Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei LTD and ZTE Corp:
“The House Intelligence Committee’s exhaustive report confirms what many have suspected for years: Huawei and ZTE’s relationship with the Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army is too opaque to allow them to command and control U.S. telecom networks. Their obstruction of the committee’s investigation further demonstrates that they are not trusted partners for the U.S. government and business community,”
Wolf said in a statement. “Given the bipartisan findings in the committee’s report, it would be unwise for any American company or government agency to use Huawei or ZTE products. American firms currently using or selling these products should quickly divest in the interest of their customers and their country.
“As chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the FBI, the Justice Department and the Commerce Department, as well as federal science agencies leading cutting-edge research, I included language in the fiscal year 2013 appropriations bill that passed the House earlier this year prohibiting the purchase of telecom equipment produced by Chinese state-owned or state-directed companies, like Huawei and ZTE, for these very reasons. I was pleased the report’s first recommendation directs all federal agencies to similarly prohibit these risky products moving forward.”
Wolf noted he has long worked to call attention to growing cyber threat from China and successfully pushed to prioritize cybersecurity programs in the fiscal year 2012 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, including providing significant increases to the FBI’s joint cyber task force. In addition, Wolf, the chairman of the House Appropriations CJS subcommittee, directed the FBI to produce an annual unclassified cyber report and required each federal agency under the subcommittee’s jurisdiction to vet its IT equipment purchases.
Wolf said he plans to take even more significant steps in next year, including adopting many of China commission’s recommendations to deal with the threat.
In March Wolf testified at a U.S.-China Security and Economic Review Commission field hearing in Prince William County. In addition, he gave a speech on the House floor expressing growing concern about Huawei’s links to the Peoples Liberation Army and Chinese intelligence services as it aggressively pursues a greater market share in the United States. Wolf also has been critical of American lobbying firms who have taken on Huawei and ZTE as clients.